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Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Need a safe haven for your little ones and one that involves food and coffee? Of course you do! We've scoured Melbourne and found some kid-friendly gems.

These are cafes that have a safe (safe being the keyword) play area for the littlies to roam and play in (either indoors or out).

Jerry's Milkbar, Elwood

jerrys milkbar elwood milkshake

Skip indoors and head out back to the courtyard. There's a little play area with toys and a plastic house. Food is homely, milkshakes are more-ish and the coffee and baked goods are spot on.

This is one of our favourite hangouts in Elwood with its covered and heated outdoor courtyard, kids play area and great food (especially the banana bread and kid shakes). Then when you're done you can head off to the beach or playground just a stones throw away!


Little Kitchen on Lilian, Bulleen

little kitchen on lilian bulleen

Little Kitchen pretty much serves as the dictionary definition of a ‘hidden coffee spot’ in a residential street of all the places and is home to the Melbourne Cookie Co.

The long narrow area out the back is the perfect toddler haven with plastic cubby houses, a mini slide, little tykes cars, a blackboard and table and bench seats and it's partly shaded.

Little Kitchen on Lilian is a mama/papa-lovin’, family-friendly pit stop and perfect if you're en-route to the HEIDE Museum. There's also a playground to explore at the back of the courtyard.



Iron Henry, Murrumbeena


Nestled on a quiet shopping strip, Iron Henry could be one of the Melbourne café scene's best-kept secrets. With great coffee (specific shout out to their soy caps) and a decent food menu to boot (including kids menu), this delightful cafe is one of our favourite Murrumbeena discoveries.



Leroys, Newport

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Leroys has had a fresh make-over. Providing a great kids menu (all served on plastic, phew) and staff who are super accommodating of littlies and an outdoor oasis, they've really got the community sorted for playdates and catchups. Outside, they have a fully enclosed courtyard with a sandpit, chalkboard and some climbing equipment- perfect for lazy lunches if the weather is right. If you’ve got a messy eater, there are plenty of birds about waiting to nibble up some crumbs.



The Spare Room, Hampton

the spare room hampton cafe melbourne

It's all happening out the back of this family-friendly cafe on Hampton Street. A whole undovercover outdoor area full of toys and a bouncy castle complete with inflatable slide. Enjoy your brunch or lunch with friends while the little ones play in the cubby, shoot some balls in the basketball hoop, play with toys and ride on the bikes and see-saw.

Choose to sit indoors or there's tables and chairs down one side the outdoors play area. It's a fantastic spot for a Mother's Group catch up!



Brighton Schoolhouse, Brighton


This cafe Cafe is right on trend and ticks all the boxes for a kid-friendly eatery. Let's start with a play area - tick! A fully fenced outdoor play area with old school sea-saw, swing, sandpit and chalk board sits nestled under big trees while you look on from the paved courtyard that's decked out with coloured stools and wooden tables and bench seating.

The sprawling space has loads of room for a pram and would suit any mother's group catch-up.



Toot Toot Toys and Cafe, Bentleigh East

toot toot toys thomas trains play area

Trains. Play. Trains. Repeat. If you've got a little train loving person in your family, you're going to adore this cafe and store in East Bentleigh.

Toot Toot Toys is much, much more than a toy/train shop though. Sure, you can purchase all sorts of Thomas the Tank Engine, Chuggington and train track here (including Thomas merch) but it's the cafe and play space that will have you coming back for more.



Nature Boy Cafe, Murrumbeena

nature boy cafe cubbyhouse

So you want to combine play, conversation, coffee and good food all in one go? With a cubbyhouse and courtyard full of toys, it's no wonder this place is the talk of the town.

Be sure to head out straight out the back with your Mother's group or friends as that's where toddler action is going on! From the unassuming frontage, Nature Boy opens out from a narrow cafe into a spacious area for diners.

Nature Boy serves up all day breakfast and there's lunch offerings, treats and they've got a dedicated kids menu. The coffee is on point and the latte art is something else!




Melbourne, Australia


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